Pentagon denies Russian rocket engine waiver for Lockheed-Boeing venture

Reuters News
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Posted: Oct 09, 2015 5:40 PM

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Pentagon on Friday said it would not waive a U.S. law banning the use of Russian rocket engines for military and spy satellite launches, rejecting a request from United Launch Alliance, a joint venture of Lockheed Martin Corp and Boeing Co.

ULA has said it needs the waiver to compete against privately held Space Exploration Technologies Corp, or SpaceX, in a new U.S. Air Force competition for satellite launches.

The U.S. Defense Department said it would continue to monitor the situation, and was looking at a range of options, including possible sole-source contract awards to ensure a healthy and competitive industrial base, and move away from use of Russian RD-180 engines as soon as possible.

(Reporting by Andrea Shalal; Editing by Bill Rigby)